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Living by Faith (Vol 16) - Three Stages of Faith's Operation

Sunday English Service - 04 NOV 18


Please turn with me to Hebrews chapter 11. Let me read to you the first three verses. Hebrews chapter 11 verses 1 to 3. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. We’ve been  teaching on living by faith from Hebrews chapter 11. I told you the first three verses are very important because it gives us the doctrine concerning faith, what faith is and how faith works, and so on. Then the rest of the chapter gives us various illustrations of how it actually was worked out in the lives of people in the Old Testament. So, the first three verses give us the actual doctrine of what faith is and how faith works.

Now, today, I want to share with you about the three phases of faith’s operation. When faith works, it works in three stages. And I want to just describe it to you so that it will help you to understand how faith actually works. The first phase, I would say, is the phase called hope, because it says, I’m talking about what faith is. In the first verse we read, faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith has do with the things that we hope for. Now, hope is a very big word. Sometimes a lot of people don't understand it really. Let me put it in very practical ways. There are other words that can be used that will help you understand hope very clearly. Hope can be described as vision. Hope can also be described as a blueprint. When you want to build the house you first design and get a blueprint. Now, these days, they've got the technology to a place where they can walk you through your house. Before the house is even built, they can put it on the computer and take you through every inch of your house and show you what it will look like. Really give you a 3D experience of the house that you’re going to build. That's wonderful because it shows that before we get to the final product, we can design it, we can have a clear view of it in our mind, we can conceive it, design it and then bring it about. That's what happens. So vision is something like that. Vision is how you see your future. That is very important. That's the first stage of faith. When you begin to live by faith, the first thing that happens to you is you get a vision of what you need to be like. How your future must be in your spirit, in your soul, in your body, in the work of your hands, in your family life, in every way. What your future should be like. You need to get a blueprint. You get need to get a vision. You need to get a foresight, fore view of your future. Now, faith begins as you get a vision for your life.

The second aspect or the second stage of faith is that the framing work must be done. So once you've got the picture very clear, how you’re going to do it, the framework must be put up. Now, when they lay the foundation and things start coming up, the basic framework begins to appear. When you build a house, people can look at it, they can tell whether it's going to be a big bungalow, how many rooms are going to be there approximately. What kind of house? Is it big house, small house? What kind of house? It begins to have some shape and form, people can look at the framework because it is on that framework everything is going to come up. In foreign countries, a lot of them use wood in construction. They will literally make the framework where everything is standing, you can see it. Then they will fill it all up. So you can see the standing structure itself because it’s not built with brick, it's built with wood. They'll put the framework first.

So framing. The Bible says in verse 3, By faith we understand that the worlds were framed. I'm using New King James Version. Framed by the word of God. A lot of translation use the word framed. What is it referring to? It is referring to how God took the world which was having chaos, emptiness, and darkness. In chapter 1 verse 1 of Genesis says, in the beginning God created the heaven and earth. The very next verse says, the world was without form, and it was void and darkness filled the earth. So, there was chaos, emptiness and darkness. Now, this framing is a word that actually describes how God took the chaos, emptiness and darkness and how He framed things in such a way, designed things in such a way, because that world of chaos, emptiness, and darkness cannot be inhabited by a man. Man cannot live there. God was preparing the place for man. Before He created man, He wanted to create a world for man, a place where he can live. So this is not yet a place where man can live. So God goes about framing the world as a place where man can inhabit, man can live comfortably.

So you can see Him framing. He said, “Let there be light. Let there be firmament. Let there be dry land, let there be vegetation, let there be trees, bearing fruit, all kinds of trees. Let there be sun, moon, and the stars. Let there be birds of the air, let there be fish of the sea, let there be animals of all kinds.” So He's framing the world. The word framing refers to Genesis chapter 1 and what happened from verse 2 onwards, for the rest of the chapter. How God framed the world, and literally brought about a design in which a world where man can live was conceived and brought about. That is what framing is all about. So, that's the second stage or second phase of faith. First is getting a picture, getting a vision, getting a blueprint called hope. Real biblical word is hope. That's what hope is. Second is framing your world. How do you frame your world? The Bible says, God framed it with His words. Hebrews 11:3 says that. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God. So framing is done by the word.

But thirdly, the believing part of faith. The third part. I say believing because this is where you apply the force of faith, which is a creative power, the power which created the world. I showed you how faith created the world. Faith is the power with which God created the world. Delivering that faith’s power through His Word. So, the third part is where you take the power that created the world and apply it to that situation of chaos, emptiness, and darkness, whatever the situation may be, so that you can shape and form it and design it the way you want to have it, that you desire to have. You don't like what you have so therefore, you take it and turn it around and design it differently. You don't like what's going on, you don't like the way life is, therefore, you want to take that and use the power of faith, apply the force of faith, the creative power of faith, and design it the way that you want it, or the way that God originally intended it to be. So these are the three stages. But now let me go into a little more detail about the three stages and describe to you how these things work and then I'll show you how the application comes.

Now let's go back to point number one, which is hope, the first stage, where you get a vision and a blueprint. It's so important, because, suppose you're trying to build a house and you have no vision, particular idea, no blueprint, nothing in your mind about what your house should look like, then even if you have the brick and the cement and the sand and all the material that you need, where are you going to use it? How are you going to use it? You have no way to apply these things. You have the material to build a beautiful house but because you don't have a design in mind, or shape or form in mind, you don't have a particular vision and plan, there is no place to apply this. So that's how important vision is. Without a vision you cannot even begin to practice faith. You cannot begin to even live by faith. You need to have a clear plan for your life. That plan is your aim. That's where you want to get to. That's what you want to work towards achieving. Now, where does that vision come from? You need to understand that. Where does that vision come from? How do you develop that vision? How do you know that it's not just what you desire out of your flesh and your fleshly lust and longings of a fleshly mind, a worldly mind and mentality? That it is not from there, but it's from God? How do you decide whether this vision is from God? This idea you that you have about life is not out of your fleshly, carnal, worldly mentality, but it's from God? How do you know? How do you decide this?

So basically, it's about this. Basically, the vision or the blueprint is about the will of God for your life. That's the way I would put it. The vision comes from understanding the will of God for your life. Now, our basic concern as believers must be to identify the will of God for our life, because to be in the perfect will of God represents the greatest place of blessing that you can be. You want to be in a place of blessing, in a position of blessing, be blessed? The best place to be, to be totally blessed is to be in the place where God wants you to be. Is to be in the center of His will, is to be in His perfect will. So as believers, our job and our primary concern is about what is God's will for us. We want to determine what does God want for me? What is God's will for me? Because that is the place where God is going to bless me. God is not going to bless me any which way. He didn’t say, “Go do whatever you like, I'll bless you. Go live whichever way you want, do whatever you like, I'm giving you so many years, 80, 90 years here. Just play it as you like and I will bless you, whatever you do.” No, God never said that. God says, “I've put you there in the world. I’ve given you breath of life, I've given you a body. I've given you hands and legs, given you a brain and a mind to think and decide and determine. All of that is because I want you to know what I want from you and understand what My will is for you and do what My will (is). I've kept you for a purpose. Do My will.”

Jesus is the greatest example. Did Jesus do anything that's not the will of God? He says, “I don't even speak one word or do one deed that is not the will of God. I only speak what God wants Me to speak. I only do what...” He’s the perfect example for us. That is the way man ought to live. Jesus exemplified through His life what a man's life ought to be like. He was here to show us. That is one of the reasons He came. Ultimate reason is to die on the cross and make atonement for our sins. But along that way, while He came to do that, He also wanted to show us what a real man must be like, because we've lost sight of what a man ought to live like. We have totally lost the idea of what man is made for. And there is a God, the Creator, and He's going to ask account from man of how he lived his life when he stands one day before God. Every man is going to die and stand before God in judgment. These two appointments every man will keep. And when we stand there, the question is not whatever you have accomplished, it's whether you accomplished what He told you to accomplish. Whether you have lived completely and totally seeking His will, and doing His will, and accomplishing His purpose. That's all. Don’t you agree with that?

That's what Christian life is about. Christian life is not about happily just living whatever way I want to live. It is about finding God's will, and doing God's will. Our basic concern as Christian is about God's will. What is God's will for me? What should I do? And plus all the blessings and the provisions and the power is available only in that place of God's will. If you're there where you're doing God's will, that is where power is there. That is where ability comes, that is where all the wisdom is given. That is where all the blessings of God are given. That is where all the provisions are made, when you are in the will of God. Because all those things are given so that you may do what He tells you to do. That's all.

So, how do you determine the will of God? The general will of God is determined through the word of God and we all know that. It's the same for all people. For humankind, God has got a general will about what kind of people they should be, how their family should be, how their health should be, how their well-being should be in all areas of their life, materially, spiritually, socially, mentally, emotionally, and every aspect of their lives, what their life should be. God has got a design because God is a designer. He's the one that framed. He’s got the idea. He didn’t just make man just off the cuff, without any idea of what He was doing. He had a particular idea in mind. That is why before He made man, look at the vision He had. He declares what He wanted. He said, “Let us make man in Our image and in Our likeness.” Exactly the design He had in mind is that man must be in His image and in His likeness. That's the image that God had in mind.

So, the general will of God for all of us is the same and it is here in the word of God. The general will of God concerning salvation. The Bible says that no one should perish that all should come to the knowledge of the saving power of Jesus Christ. That's the will of God. It is not the will of God that even one should perish. Somebody said, “Well, if nobody perishes brother, then what is hell going to be for?” They're worried about hell is going to be empty. Don't worry. First of all, hell was not made for man, it was made for the fallen angels. Some people are going to go there, but that's because of their choice. God does not wish, God does not want, and God did not make hell for man. The Bible says so. I don't have the time to go to it. You look at the Bible read it. It says it was made for the fallen angels. So, don't worry about who will go to hell. I am fully convinced that God wants everybody to go to heaven. That's why I'm glad to be a preacher. I'm declaring that to the world. God wants everybody in heaven. Not one should perish, but all should come to the saving knowledge of Christ. That's the vision, the will of God. He’s a good God. Nobody can say God is evil. If somebody goes to hell, that's because they insisted on going. Because He's made a way for going to heaven. He’s made a way for people to live with Him in all eternity. He’s made the provision. It's all free, it is so precious. He made it by giving His life. He died on the cross, shed His blood and did the utmost to make sure that man will have no hindrance to come to heaven, that nothing will be blocking his way. He can simply by believing and receiving, come and walk into heaven and fellowship with God and live eternally with God. What more do you want?

One fella said, “Well, if God is good, then why is he sending some people to hell?” He’s not send anybody to hell. That's my answer. But if somebody wants to go there and insists on going there, what to do? God has given freedom to everybody. That's the problem. So, the will of God concerning salvation is very clear for all men. The will of God concerning healing is very clear for all men. Sickness, God, never designed for man. Think whatever you want to think, people have a lot of ideas these days. “Well, there’s some people God has...” No, no, no, no. God, never designed sickness. God does not make people sick. God did not intend, determine that man should ever suffer sickness. It all came as a result of sin. It is the sin the brought such things into this world. It is very unfortunate, it is there, but it is not part of God's design. That's what I'm saying. Please understand that. So, healing for everybody. That's God's design. Prosperity for everybody. That is God's design.

Look at the Garden of Eden, by making a garden like that... I didn't know if you know what the name means? Eden means a place of pleasures. Place where you simply enjoy life, where everything is provided for, everything is taken care of. Everything that you could ever imagine in your wildest dream is there. That is what Eden is all about. By making that, God is declaring something. They said, “This is the way I want man to live.” He didn't put one man here and one man in a hut somewhere in the wild. No. He put man then He said, “This is where I want man. Eden is what I intended for man to live in. I made it for man.” He planted a garden and put every good thing there and put man there. And the responsibility that God gave to man was to go and make the rest of the world take it up and make it just like Eden, because he's got a sample now and he's made in the image and likeness of God. He must now go and proliferate. He must go and spread this thing and make the whole world become like Eden. That's the purpose. But he's made a hell out of the whole world now, man, because of sin.

Sometimes it’s a place that becomes very difficult to live for some people. In the ancient times, the societies, they say, 2000 years ago, when Jesus lived on this earth, some of the societies in which people lived were such societies that human beings found it so difficult to live. They say, that is why a lot of people turned to Christ in the first two or three centuries. A lot of people were becoming Christians at the rate of 40% per decade. Every 10 years 40% growth in Christianity. Why such fast growth? Because the world was a place of evil, corruption. The world was an intolerant world. The world was a place where there was no love, no concern, no compassion, hard, difficult world. People were crushing and oppressing one another. One race will oppress the other, one kind will oppress the other. People will take advantage and behave in such evil way, kill each other, destroy each other. It was a wild, terrible place. And right in the middle of it, there is this community called the Christians that had love and compassion. A totally different quality of life they had portrayed. So, the world quickly and easily turned to Christ. They said, “I want that. My God it’s a difficult world. I can't even live in this world, such a difficult place. But look at this community, they have peace, they’ll help one another. They love one another. They have compassion. They're such wonderful people. There is something different about them. The Jews and Gentiles under one roof, eating together, praying together, embracing one another, loving one another.”

You could never in your wildest dream imagine something like that, the Jew and the Gentile getting together. They were so divided. Jews called Gentiles, dogs, and Gentiles called Jews, pigs. You can see what each other felt about the other. That's the way the world was. And here was a wonderful community joined together. The middle wall of partition was gone. They were put together by a supernatural love that has come into them. They have divine love, loving one another, exemplifying that love. And nobody could stop people from becoming Christians because Christianity was an attractive thing, attractive option in a world that was so intolerant, and so full of evil, so full of all this cruelty and oppression.

So prosperity is God's will for everybody. God never planned to poverty. God never planned for any man to lack anything. He does not withhold any good thing, the Bible says. The Psalmist understands. From a shepherd, he became a king, he understands. He does not withhold any good thing. So I can go on. There are things about life like salvation, healing, prosperity, family life, and all of that… what God intended is very clear. One fella told me, “Well, it will be this way and sometimes that way, brother. Got to take it as it comes.” He’s talking about life and family. Maybe, sometimes it works out so nice, you get a good family, sometimes it’s just rotten family. That's the way it is. You got to take it as it comes. I was telling how the Bible says, he says, “No, no, no, it will be this way and that way.” I said, “Then it'll be that way only for you, because that's what you believe. I believe it will be this way only.” I believe in the will of God. I'm very clear in my mind about what the will of God is for your family, for your social life, for people, what the will of God is.

So, the general will of God is very clear. So, that must be your vision for your life, your family, your social life, your material life, your material well-being, your physical and spiritual well-being concerning your health, concerning your prosperity, concerning your happiness, and fulfillment of life. All of these things is determined by the original design that you see in the word of God, which is clear. Even after the world has become a fallen world, God continuously makes His will known. And when you read the Bible, you cannot miss it, it's there. If you believe the other stuff that God wants some people to be sick, and some people to be poor, to believe that you need special teaching from some denomination. But to believe that God's will is that everybody should be saved, everybody should be well. To believe that everybody should have prosperity, to believe that the well-being of every single person of mankind is the will of God is plain and clear in the scriptures. We all wear particular glasses. The Baptist glass, the Catholic glass, the Protestant eyeglasses, and when we put it on, we've become different people. Our whole thing changes, whole approach changes. But if you read the Bible, plain and clear, it is very clear. Now, the general will is known. That is what should be your blueprint, your design, your wish, your will, that must be part of your longing, and your aspiration in life to produce that kind of life.

How about the specific will of God? See, we know the general will, but specific will such as, what profession do you follow, who you marry, where do you live, and all these things. How do you determine that? How do you know what is God's will for your life? See, I am in this profession, I'm a preacher, and you are an engineer, or a doctor, or a teacher, or whoever you are. We are not all made the same. God has called us to different things and made us differently. We’re differently gifted and so on. So how do you know the will of God? See, for that the Holy Spirit is given in our heart. First of all, you should know the general will of God very clearly. That is the first requirement in order to know the specific will of God concerning particular things in life. Know the general will of God, then you won't go wrong in those other things, when you come to the specific will concerning specific aspects of your life.

So when you come to the specific aspects of your life, God has a way of working His will into your life. See, this is a relationship that you have with God, it’s just not a religion where you go and enroll and get a membership and stuff like that. This is a relationship with God. He walks with you, He talks with you, you have a relationship with Him. And one of the things that He helps you to do is to help you to understand His will for everything in your life. When the time comes for everything He guides you and leads you into His will. So, at a particular point in my life I just knew in my heart that I was called to do this, in my heart. If I told it outside, nobody will believe because I didn't look like I was qualified. Even in my own house they thought, “How's this long-haired, hippie-like guy be called?” They actually said, “There are others in our family. This guy, see, he's got a crew cut.” That was very important in those days. “He cuts his hair right, he has his hair right length, he’s a very spiritual guy. But this guy cannot become a preacher. He's not is not that material.” But God calls hippies I found out. David was a hippie, long-haired guitarist, singer, minding some sheep. David's father brought all his older brothers who were tall and military material and stood them before prophet Samuel and said, “Maybe you're looking for these guys. God sent you to our house to choose a king. Look at these guys. Look at his height. Look at his looks. Look at his muscles. Look at his skills. Look at his personality.” Samuel said, “No, this is not the one I'm looking for.” They said, “Finally, there's one guy, kind of hippie-like guy. He just plays guitar and stays out in the woods, takes care of few sheep. Should I bring him in?” “Yeah, bring him in.” And when he came in the prophet said, “This is the one.”

Just imagine how everybody felt. God said, “This is the one. I'm going to make him a king. He will slay Goliath. He’ll be better than a military guy,” because in the eyes of God, your might and muscle doesn't matter. Your faith matters. Your heart matters. God is the one that looks at the heart. Not on anything else. So God chose him. So you know inside what you're called for. There comes a particular point in your life as you walk with God and have a relationship with God, you know what you're called for because of your relationship with God. That's why I said to you, “If you don't know God, if you're not walking with God, if you don't know God, you don't talk to God and you don't have a relationship with God, my friend, how are you going to make it? How are you going to know what to do, where to go, when to do what and how to do what? I feel sorry for such people. If you don't know God will be a lost person in this world. You won't know anything. When you know God, if you don't know anything, you know Him and He knows everything. And you can be sure that He will guide you promptly in the right moment, in the right way. That is what Christianity is all about. It's a relationship with God.

So I knew it. So you will know it. What you're called for, you'll find out if you walk with God. So, master your relationship with God. Get that right. Don't be religious, be a real Christian. Walk with God. Walk hand in hand, He’ll take you by the hand and lead you into your destiny. And the second thing is, He shows you the gifts and talents that you have at one point. He says, “See, I made you like this. I made you different from the other guys, because you are made to do this. That comes as a confirmation that maybe God gave me these gifts so that I can do this. The third thing is, God opens doors of opportunities to do what He has called you to do. Then God tells you in your heart, “See, I’m taking you here, making you do this. You can’t make this happen. I make this happen because I called you to do this.” These things happen in my life really. That's the third thing.

And fourth thing is, objectively, you begin to see where everybody sees that you're called for this. I knew one guy where he wanted to go into business, everybody advised him against it. He tried so hard he couldn't get into business. Nobody will give him a loan to start this factory and all that. And another preacher who knew him contacted me and said, his parents contacted me and told me, “Let him quit all this. He was already earning very well in some other country doing very good work and learning in lakhs so many years ago,” and they said, “why doesn’t he go back to work? We're not cut out for business. We shouldn't be hoping to do business and all that. Let him go back to work and work somewhere and make some money. Why do business? Please tell him.” This preacher is telling me to advise him, “Please tell him.” But I could feel that this guy has got some vision. So I didn't want to tell him. He was in big trouble. They were trying to help, they loved him. They wanted to help him. Tell him not to do business, get back to work. A lot of people wanted him for work. And he's a good qualified guy. He didn't want to go. He wanted to start business. Finally, you know what happened? He started. He started and he has done so well in just a short time and made a great success. Now, everybody says, “He's born for business, brother.” See, they come late. They understand this very late. When he told them they couldn't understand it, they said, “No, not you. Sure, no, no. I can see and tell who can do this. You're not made for this.” And now everybody says, “He's a born business guy. Look at him. He got hundreds of people working for him and made a big success.”

Then the will of God is very clearly known to everybody. It starts in your heart but then in the end you find out that you were indeed called as you were to do the things that you've been doing. And you got to trust God every step of the way, as He leads you and guides you in these specific things and step into those things as He leads and guides you. That's how you know the will of God. So that is point one, the vision. The vision comes from God, God's word, from the Holy Spirit helping you, leading you and guiding you. That's where you get the goal. That is where you're traveling to. That is what you're trying to achieve. This is what God has put in your heart, you got a blueprint.

The second thing is framing. But before I talk about framing, let me talk about the third phase. The third phase is believing or exercising faith or applying faith’s force to bring to reality the dream, the vision, the blueprint. See, going from step one to step three, you'll face a lot of obstacles. Unless you have a vision, you cannot believe. It is impossible to believe an abstract concept called healing or prosperity without really personalizing the vision. If you look at the Bible as a religious book, and you read it because you're a Christian and you're born as a Christian, you're supposed to read it from your grandaddy’s days, then it's very difficult for you to believe in healing or prosperity or all of these things. But if you look at the Bible as God's word speaking to you, revealing His will, His idea of what a man is, His design for mankind, His design for your life, and you read it in that way, then now you're personalizing it. The word is speaking to you. The word is speaking to you and telling you that you need to be saved. The word is speaking and telling to you that you need to be healed and you need to be well. The word is speaking and telling you that you need to prosper. You need to be successful. That God's blessing will cause all of these things to come into your life. God's favor will help you to achieve these things.

See, that is why the vision has to happen first. The vision is created by the Bible promises. And when those promises are received in a personalized manner where you believe it’s speaking to you and it's for you, God's design is like that for you, you begin to see yourself in the light of those promises. You begin to see yourself as the Bible describes human destiny. You begin to see your life and your family, your work of your hand, everything, as God sees it. You begin to see that design and begin to see yourself in terms of that design. And when you see that now you're looking at yourself. Maybe you're born poor, but now you're getting your vision from the word of God saying, “That's not God's will. That's not how I'm meant to be like. Yeah, sin has come, curse has come into this world. So many situations brought this kind of thing upon my life. I'm in this way. But God's will is for me to take it from here and arrive at that destiny. God wants me to be like that. I need to be like that. I need to not look for handouts from anybody. I need to not look at people to help me to do this and that for me. I know I don't need to depend on man, I need to not just be a dependent of somebody, I need to be a giver myself. I need to help others. I need to live my life in that way because God has made me to rule and dominate. God has made me to be fruitful, to multiply, to replenish, to subdue and dominate. God has made me to be a winner. God has made me in His image and likeness. I'm getting a vision of that.”

Now, when you get a vision of that, the fact that you're poor is already there in front of you. That's what makes it difficult in faith life. In the life of faith, the fact is you’re poor but the vision that is cast from the Bible into your heart is for prosperity, well-being, more than enough abundance, that kind of vision is cast. So, between these two things, there is a big gap and you are in that gap. You’re only seeing yourself without money, without anything, poor and suffering and so on. That becomes a problem. And that is why I shared with you last week from a wonderful verse. Remember that 2nd Corinthians chapter 4 and verse 17? For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding weight of eternal glory. When does the affliction become a light affliction? When does the affliction become a momentary affliction not a permanent one? When does it become a passing one, and not a permanent one? While we look not at the things which are seen. Look at 2nd Corinthians 4 verse 18. While we look not at the things which are seen. What is the things which are seen? This thing that is seen is that I'm poor, that is what I can see. While we look not at the things that that are seen, but at the things which are not seen. What is the not seen thing? It is my vision that is cast from the word of God into my heart, the blueprint that God has given me, the thing that has come into my heart as a vision for my future, my destiny that God wants me to arrive at.

So how do you proceed from this point to that point? I do not look at the things which are seen. I do not look at my lack, and insufficiency and want, and my present status and the way I am today. But I begin to look at the vision that God has given to me through His word, the design that I see that God has in mind for me. While we look not at the things which are seen. See, when I don't see the thing that is happening now in my life and I begin to see, God’s design for me, God's wish for me, God's will for me, this affliction that I have, this poverty, this affliction that I have, whatever it is, sickness, or whatever the affliction may be, this affliction that I have right now becomes a light affliction, one thing. Secondly, it becomes a momentary affliction, passing affliction. It does not become light and passing to everybody, it becomes light and passing affliction only to those who are not looking at the seen. If you're going to look at what is seen, and don't look at all of the vision, that you don't have a vision at all from the word of God, of what you need to be, then your affliction, even a light affliction it will become a big burden. Even the affliction that will normally move away, and pass on and leave you in a short while, will permanently find a place. The affliction will say, “This is a good place to stay, we are welcome here in this life. Very hospitable. He believes like this. He wants it like this. He believes that only then will go to heaven. He’s taught like that. Very convenient.” That affliction will stay permanently. But while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for those people, the light affliction which is but for a moment is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. What a wonderful way it puts it.

So, it's a life of faith. Life of faith is lived like this. There is what God says, a vision that is cast in my heart by God's word. I begin to see myself in that way. But the reality is different. My want, my lack. So, I choose not to look at my lack and want, I begin to put my faith and what God says about my destiny and His will and wish for me, and I walk in that way. So that my present sufferings becomes very light and ultimately becomes very momentary, and passes away so that it will turn out to be a wonderful, glorious thing in the end, when I achieve what God wants for me in my life. So, when you're looking at things that are not seen, your vision that God has given to you through your word, you are walking by faith. Now, how do you know whether you're walking by faith or not? This is one question that people ask very often. How do I know that I'm in faith?

See, a lot of people are not in faith. They have what is called mental assent. Mental assent is a much lower thing. Like a person born a Christian so he believes in the Bible, he believes in Jesus. His virgin birth, His death on the cross, His resurrection, and all of those things as a doctrine that he holds onto, he believes it. But you notice that his believing those things has not made any difference in his life. He's going on living his life the same way. Sin has rule over him, he's not delivered from that. His life has not changed. He has not become a spiritual person by believing. There is no necessary changes that are brought about. He continues as anybody, there is no real difference. But mentally, he agrees and accepts these things as truth. That is what we call mental assent. Giving assent mentally to these things. Mentally agreeing and accepting these things. That is not faith. Faith is not a mental assent. Faith is something of the heart. When you believe in the heart, you will see a real change. You will see change definitely. Heart belief will cause a change in the life, if you truly believe. See, heart belief is a real belief. When you believe a certain way, you will turn out a certain way.

Now, how do you know whether you're in faith or not? There are two verses that I'll give you. That'll quickly show you whether you're in faith or not. One is Philippians chapter 1 and verse 25. It says, and being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith. Paul is here as you know, in the previous verses, talking about whether to die or whether to live and go on doing ministry. He likes to go on to be with the Lord because who doesn't like to go to heaven. Everybody likes to go to heaven. But he realizes that if he goes, then there will be a vacuum here. He's needed much here. He needs to work and establish churches, teach the people and so on. So he says, “If I'm here, I'll do some good for you. So I’ve decided to be here.” Why he decides to be here he says, “For your progress,” he says, “and the joy of faith.” See, when faith is there, there is accompanying joy. Joy is something that you see in the person that's got faith. A person who's walking by faith may not have seen his circumstances change, the seen reality may still be his failure, his poverty, his sickness, and all of that. But there is a joy that cannot be taken away from him. An indescribable joy that is deep down, just springing up from his heart. Because of the hope and the vision and the blueprint that he has, that he's headed in that direction, that he is going to come there and arrive there at the destiny.

So joy is something that comes with faith. If faith is there, joy will be there. Another thing is Hebrews chapter 4 and verse 3. For we who have believed do enter that rest. Let me stop right there. Another thing that accompanies faith is rest. So we have joy and we have rest. If you have faith, see, these people have believed and ever entered that rest. They enter there. If you believe, you’ll enter a rest. If you’ll believe, you will be at peace. If you believe there will be a peace that passeth all understanding. In spite of the needs and the problems and the difficulties you're facing, there will be peace. So there is joy when you believe and when you believe there is rest, a spiritual rest, knowing that God is there, God is going to take care of all this, everything is going to pan out according to God's will. And that you're trusting in God, that you're keeping your eyes on God and His will. If both joy and rest are there, you're walking in faith. If there is no joy, if there is no rest, I tell you, my friend, then the real question of whether you have faith must be asked. Maybe faith is not there. That is why there is no joy. That is why there is no rest.

Oftentimes, even people who habitually walk by faith, sometimes you will find that you're losing your joy and you’re losing your faith, that is a clear indication that you need to replenish your faith. That you are walking away from faith and you're looking at things now as they are instead of looking at God's word. So now we come to the thing that connects the first with the third. First is the hope, the vision. The third is the realization of that vision by believing. What connects the two, framing of your world with your words. So when joy and rest were missing, what do you do? You realize that you don't have faith. And where does faith come from? Everybody knows this verse. But don't ever assume that you know everything that the verse is saying. I never make that mistake. I will always look at verses like I've never known it. Faith cometh by hearing, Romans 10:17. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So, I need faith because joy is missing. I need faith because I know there is no rest. I cannot lay down and put myself to sleep. When you got faith you can lay down and go to sleep. Remember that sleep prayer? See, we give you all these extras that you get nowhere. What do you pray before you sleep? Say, Lord, I'm going to lay myself down and close my eyes to sleep because You are going to be awake while I'm sleeping. And watch over me. Not only watch over me, but work overnight with all Your staff in heaven and the angels for my good. You are preparing everything for me, for tomorrow. You're going to open doors for me. You're going to make things possible for me. You're going to influence people for me. You’re going to speak in the hearts for me. You're going to give me opportunities and chances and open doors tomorrow. Make all things possible. Therefore, I cease to worry. I will not carry a burden as I sleep. I'm going to lay myself down, close my eyes, knowing that my Lord is watching over me all night. And working for me to make everything wrong, right for me by morning.

Teach that to your children. First parents learn it. Children pray the way parents pray. So, if you learn it and if you pray, they'll automatically learn. That's one way to let them learn it. And when you pray it like that, I'll tell you, my friend, just pray it for a few days, you'll see how your life changes and how you sleep. You’ll sleep good. Your sleep will be good and your waking moments will be good also, because you have slept good. You won't be grumpy. So, faith cometh by hearing. So, if you find yourself without joy, without rest, you know there's no faith. You need faith. Where does faith come from? Faith comes from the word of God, from hearing the word of God, not reading the word of God. From hearing the word of God, faith comes. But there is a problem. You hear the word of God preached and explained only once a week, or maybe twice a week at the most if you come on Tuesday nights. That’s good, but we can't have services every day.

I remember one lady in the early days, I used to have youth meetings here. And a lot of young people came, got saved and young people were really getting changed and so on. One lady said, “My boy has been such a big problem but he likes your meetings. He likes to come here.” I said, “Wonderful. Is he coming?” She said, “Yeah. But one problem,” she said, “The rest of the days I don't know what to do with him. So you have meeting every day and my son will come every day and he'll be all right.” I said, “That's not the solution. I can’t have church every day and you can't come to church every day also. It becomes impossible.” We wish we can do it. But even if you came, that's not what it's talking about. Coming to church is good because you hear the word of God explained to you, the bread of life broken for you so that you can consume it, you can eat it. It's given in a palatable form. When you come to the church here it is given in a way that you can receive and digest. That's very important. That's why it doesn't matter where it is you need to go, however far you need to travel or whatever you need to do.

I learned that long ago in my life when I was in bible college. I didn't have a car. It was snowing, it was ice. Ice you will have out of your nose, you'll be dripping. And by the time the thing comes out, it'll be icicle. That's how cold it was. That's the kind of place I was in. I mean, it's terrible cold. And I just didn't have all the equipment and clothes that you need to have. And I would stand there. But I went to this church and this guy preached for three hours, 7 o'clock to 10 o'clock, just for men, I'll go to that. And then 10:30 they start the service, all their wives and children will come. The men will be there at 7 o'clock. And that was a wonderful session. I learned a lot of things there. I learned one of the songs also like, There's A Feeling in the air and all, that's where I got it. Those wonderful songs that I always loved and loved by people here. But there was a wonderful, amazing teaching and I didn't want to miss it. 17 miles, just calculate in kilometers, like 30 kilometers. No car. I got to go osi. So I'll stand up every day out there in the cold and show my hand as the boys were leaving to go to different churches from the college, and they'll go to different churches, and they'll stop and say, “Where are you going?” And say, “I’m going to this church.” And they’ll say, “No, I'm not going there.” And so I'll wait and I found some people going there. One fella said, “Every Sunday you come and stand here, I'll get you. I'll take you and bring you back,” he said. It doesn't matter, if you have a will you have a way. I found out. And that is the most beneficial time I ever had with that pastor and with that church. I did my internship there also with that pastor. He taught me a lot of things. Wonderful man, wonderful teacher. I learned a lot about teaching and learnt a lot about singing and all that. Wonderful singer and amazing church. Worthwhile going there.

And faith came to me by going there and understanding things. But that was only once a week. I can't go every day and he didn't have it every day. So what do you do for that? What you need to do is you need to go there and understand the word and get into the word and hear the word preached as much as possible by others who are explaining the word. That's very important. That's why we use YouTube and all these things. Wonderful thing to hear the word. All our stuff is available on YouTube and so on now, because I want people to have it and readily use it. But that is not enough still. Because one day you come here, six days, all kinds of junk is going into the ears. So how do you live in a world like that? The only best way to do it is employ your tongue to preach to yourself the word of God. This is what confession is all about. See, a lot of people make fun of confession. They don't understand what confession is about. They think it’s a strange doctrine. Confession is a strange doctrine. It's an old doctrine that is in the word of God. I’ve preached a lot about confession. Confession is not a big joke. It's not about just saying some things like magic, like mantra. You say this so many times and things will happen. No. Confession is, because you believe that faith cometh by hearing and you need to hear and as you keep on hearing... hearing means as you keep on hearing and hearing and hearing. That's what it means literally. Present continuous. You keep hearing the word of God. That's what confession means. And how do you do that, you understand the word of God and fill yourself with the truth of God's word and begin to rise up and apply this force of faith, this power of faith by speaking the word of God, just like God did in the beginning as He framed the world. You begin to frame your world as you rise up against your sickness, against your poverty, against the problems of your life and begin to speak the word of God and preach it to yourself constantly. That's the best way to do it.

Preach it to yourself to the point of faith because faith comes by hearing. Preach it to yourself. Preach it loud. Speak it to yourself so that you may hear it. Preach yourself out of depression. Preach yourself out of worry. Preach yourself out of fear. Preach yourself out of poverty. Preach yourself out of lack. Preach yourself out of want and insufficiency. Preach yourself out of sickness and weakness. Preach yourself out of all the mess that is there in your life. Preach yourself. Begin to declare what God says. Begin to frame your world. You don't like the chaos, emptiness and darkness, preach it. Begin to say what you shall be. Begin to say what your family will be like. Begin to say what the work of your hands will be like. Begin to speak and say what your future will be like. Begin to say it, preach it. I'll tell you, you will find joy and rest coming. I can challenge you on this. If you'll do that, you begin to take the word of God and begin to say what God says about your health, in spite of the weakness and the sickness. Begin to say what God says about prosperity in spite of the lack and need, and want. Begin to say what God says about your family and the mess that you're in in other aspects of life and begin to speak it. Speak against fear, speak against worries, speak against all of these things, and begin to declare God's peace. Begin to declare that you are made in the image and likeness of God that you fear no one. Begin to say, “Whom shall I fear? The Lord is with me. He’ll never leave me nor forsake me. Why should I fear any man or anything? I'll boldly say, ‘What shall man do unto me?’” Speak like that. The word of God is given for you to do that. The words which created the heaven and earth, the words which framed the word of God are put in here and delivered into your hands, so that you can use those words to frame your world.

These are not ordinary words. Words used by God to create. Words used by God to frame. Use it to frame it. Don't waste it. This is the best resource you have. Do it. Don't ever underestimate the importance of your word. See, I was preaching about confession one time, one fella said, “What is this about confession? You mean to tell me that if I uttered one wrong thing, I'm going to fall dead?” I said, “Satan is not such a fool, brother. He won't kill you like that because everybody will find out quickly and shut up.” If somebody utters one negative word and he falls dead, all of us will put a tape in our mouth to be safe. The best thing is not to utter any word. Because my God, he uttered one word, he fell dead. You don't want to be caught doing that. So you will shut up and everybody will learn and nobody will become the victim. So, what the devil does, he doesn't kill you immediately. He kills you softly and slowly. So every time you speak negative, every time you speak contrary to God's design and God's will for your life, he injects a little bit of poison. You don't even know it's going in. You’re happily going about talking and walking and eating and enjoying life there. Nothing wrong. This Sam Chelladurai he says, “Don't utter any bad words. But look at me, nothing happened to me all this time.” But look at how much poison has gone in. And then finally one day you're stuck. Because little by little, little by little, little by little it gets in and totally destroys you and you don't even know how it happened. Very convenient for the devil. So nobody finds out. So everybody keeps doing the same thing.

Don't ever underestimate your word. Words have such power, just like words can destroy. See, Jesus illustrated, He spoke to the fig tree, “Let not any man eat fruit of you hereafter” He said, the next day, 24 hours later, the leaves fell off, it became withered tree. Just imagine, life will become withered. Don't underestimate your word. It works positively even more powerfully. If you keep speaking the words that created and framed this world, I will tell you, just like you said you will have it. Just as you said it you will have it. Finally, let me say this and close. See, we cannot build or frame our new world on top of the mess that we have created. We have such a mess sometimes brought in by sin and the curse and all that it has damaged. It has damaged our life on all levels. Now you’ve got to get rid of this completely, clear this out so that you may build according to God's design. How do you do it?

Now, the Old Testament gives it as a wonderful picture. Remember the flood of Noah’s time? The world was created good, in the first chapter of Genesis. The word good appears again and again. But things got bad after the fall and sin. It got so bad that God's favor is only upon Noah and his family. All the rest were found as wicked in the sight of God. Wickedness to the level that God even could not tolerate. So God had no other option other than to amputate. He had to destroy because He wants to save mankind, the human race, from total extinction and destruction. At least Noah’s there is a righteous man today. Next step, he'll also be ruined. There will be no one left. So God took action, sent a flood. 40 days and nights it rained and 150 days the water stayed on the earth, covering the earth. Why did God have to do it like that? God could have spoken one word, whatever needed to be destroyed could have been destroyed just by one word, and whatever needed to be saved like Noah and his family and all the other things that were in the ark could have been saved. Just like that by speaking one word God could have done it in a much easier way rather than spending 40 nights and 40 days of rain. And the fountains of the deep were broken up also from the earth and water came and flooded for 150 days. Is this necessary?

Here there is a picture. The Bible says in the New Testament that the things that happened in the Old Testament are to be ensamples for us. They're teaching us something. There is a lot of figurative information and teaching available. Just as in Noah’s time through the flood God destroyed the world and restarted again, in the same way what has been done through sin and the curse that came as a result of sin has to be in a way, even in a believer’s life, completely abolished and a new life must be built in a new way. How do you do that? Remember Mark 11:23? Now, we all think that we have heard everything about it. Again, don't make the mistake of thinking that we know everything about it. Mark 11:23 says, Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, “Be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea,” and shall not doubt in his heart but believes that whatever he says, will come to pass, he shall have whatever he says. What mountain is He talking about? He's literally talking about a figurative mountain. Who wants to move any mountain there. Mountains are not bothering anybody. Actually, it's beautiful. We can go around it a little bit, no problem. But He's talking about mountain-like problems. Some of us have mountain ranges of problems. Not just mountain, we have many mountains. He’s talking about figurative mountains that are standing in the way of our achieving God's will. Mountain-like sickness, mountain-like poverty, mountain-like lack and want and debt and failure, mountain-like difficulties and problems, mountain-like family problems, mountain-like things, standing in our way on the way to achieving God's will. They're stopping us. We’re not able to cross that.

What does He say must be done? “Say to the mountain, ‘Be thou removed and be cast into a sea.” What will the sea do? The sea swallows up the mountain. Mountain is nothing. You can throw the mountain in the sea, you won't even know where it went. It's completely gone out of sight, out of your life. So we know what mountain is. Mountain is our problems. So we got to cast it into a sea. It’s all figurative. The figure of mountain is a figurative, the sea also therefore will be figurative. Take the figurative mountain and cast it into the figurative sea. If mountain is the problems of our life what is the sea? That is also figurative. Which figurative sea into which you will cast your mountains. Where will you take your problems and throw it so that it never comes back again? How would you do it? Is it going to be a literal flood you're going to create or literal ocean that you're going to look to throw your problems. No, it’s figurative. So, which sea will you throw it in?

Jesus said in John chapter 7 verse 37, He said, he that believeth on me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. The word of God is often spoken about as water. In Ephesians chapter 5 Paul speaks about Jesus cleansing the church with the washing of the water by the word. Just like they wash someone with water, He is washing the church with the water of the word. So I would say to you, what Jesus said when He said, out of the belly of a believer, rivers of living water will flow. And the next verse says, He spoke about the Holy Spirit. What is the Holy Spirit sent for? He is sent to reveal to us the meaning of God's word, teach us God's word. That's why after the day of Pentecost, these guys who had a dull heart, not able to understand the Old Testament revelation of Christ, were all of a sudden able to understand. They preached powerfully, they were just pouring with messages. Look at Peter preaching so powerfully. All of a sudden, it became a bright heart, bright mind able to understand the plan of God of salvation and so on.

So the Holy Spirit is a revealer of the truth. He will come and lead you and guide you into all truth. He will remind you of the things that I taught you. So He reveals, He guides, He reminds. This is the thing that the Holy Spirit does. So with the help of the Holy Spirit, Bible says, no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has ever comprehend the things that God has prepared for them that love Him. But for us, the Holy Spirit reveals them unto us. So, the Holy Spirit is the great revealer. He takes the things that no eye has seen, no mind has ever comprehended, no ear as ever heard, and reveals it and pours it into us. And I showed you the other day preaching about Ephesians chapter 3, how the human spirit has a capacity, unbelievable capacity, unlimited capacity. Now, you can know the things of God in an unlimited manner. Your human spirit is a spiritual thing, it's not a little heart like this. It can hold a lot, it can know a lot. A born-again newly created spirit is like that.

So what the Holy Spirit does is He takes and reveals the word and you get the revelation of God's word in your heart concerning the thing that you're going through. Concerning the problems, the mountains that you're facing, and concerning God's will for your life. The revelation of God's word comes into you more and more and more in an unlimited way into that newly created heart that can hold so much. Then it comes out of your mouth, and you speak the answers to your problem, the revelation of God's word and what God says, I tell you, that is a flood that cannot be matched by even Noah's flood. And what happens is, you can now take this mountain that’s standing in your way, mountain-like problem and throw it in that ocean of the outpouring God's word and the revelation of God's word that comes from your heart through the Holy Spirit. The amazing quantity of water flowing out, rivers of living waters becoming ocean, many rivers joining together becoming an ocean, you throw the mountain in the sea, and you will never see them again and you will reach your destiny.

This is how faith works. That's why I believe in confession. Faith is not some little silly doctrine. It is something that encompasses everything. The new creation, having the Holy Spirit revealing things, the Word of God becoming real, the capacity enhanced and expanded in an unlimited way, the human heart begins to flow like rivers of living water through the word of God, by the help of the Holy Spirit. Drowning in that, the problems, the mountain-like problems, for that you need to take and open your mouth, and utter God's word. You cannot look at the mountain and use a faucet of water to sprinkle some water on it for that mountain to disappear. That's a mountain, you need a sea, you need many rivers coming together, making a sea so that it will completely drown and disappear and get out of your life. Just imagine doing that.

I'm already finding out how much you can know from God's word, how unlimited the knowledge of God can become with the help of the Holy Spirit, experience that. Begin to speak profusely. Let it flow from your heart, the rivers of living water, the word of God, and throw that mountain into that sea and take complete victory. That is what faith does. Let's all stand together and will continue next week. I got to quit now. All right.

Praise God. I want you to begin practicing that. Begin to speak God's word. Let your heart not be empty, without the truth. Fill your heart with the truth. Be full of the Spirit that helps you to understand God's word like never before. Get a real revelation of the truth concerning your needs. If you're needing something, then that's where you start studying about these things. What does God want for me? What does God say about this? Fill your heart with that and let it flow like a river. Begin to open your mouth and speak every waking moment of your life. Create that flood into which everything will drown, so that you can build thereafter the new kind of future.

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